The Ways of Providence (Part 2) – God’s Hand Among the Nations

Our study of God’s providence continues this time with a focus on how God works among the nations. The Bible gives us key insights on God’s view of the kingdoms of men and how he is ultimately in control to bring about his kingdom on earth. Join Dan and Tim as they grapple with difficult questions about how God’s rules in the Kingdoms of men, how these rulers are still responsible to God and what this means for the believer’s involvement in politics.

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Key Verse:

“The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.” Daniel 4:17 

Show Notes:

God is in control of world events

  • God, Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar (three times Daniel 4:17, 25, 32 cp v. 35; 2 Chronicles 20:6)
  • Proverbs 21:1 – God turns the heart of kings like a stream of water

God’s use of Kings

  • Cyrus, God’s anointed (Isaiah 45:1-3; Ezra 1:1)
  • Nebuchadnezzar revisited (Ezekiel 30:21-25)
  • They are unaware (Daniel 4:29-31)
  • They are still responsible for their actions (Jeremiah 25:8-9,12-13)

One of the reasons that Christadelphians are not involved in politics

  • Our awareness that God is in control
  • A great comfort to know that all things will work out according to God’s will
  • Daniel’s advice to Nebuchadnezzar (4:27)
  • We shouldn’t get caught up in the criticism of government but pray for them (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

The Ways of Providence (Part 1) – God’s Hand in Your Life

For the first time we have Dan from the Bible Basics Webinar ( here to talk with us about the providence of God. This is an essential Bible study because it gets at the heart of how we perceive the circumstances of our life. Are events just by chance or can God manipulate them for his purpose? This question leads us to consider many examples from the Bible of how God works behind the scenes in the lives of believers.

Key Verse:

“But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God. Whether it is love or hate, man does not know; both are before him.” Ecclesiastes 9:1

Show Notes:

What is Providence?

Providence vs. Miracles 

  • Providence is more applicable to today
  • Example of the healing of the man blind from birth in John 9
  • His healing = a miracle 
  • His circumstances = providence “that the works of God might be manifest in him”

Providence vs. Time and Chance

  • Ecc. 9:1 “the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God” vs. Ecc. 9:11 “time and chance happens to them all”
  • “God has control of chance, but not all chance is controlled by God” (The Ways of Providence, Robert Roberts., pg. 5)
  • Proverbs 3:5-6 – God will direct our paths, if… 1) we acknowledge Him. 2) trust in Him. 3) lean not on our own understanding
  • God’s direction over our lives can be lost (e.g. Saul 1 Samuel 18:12; 28:15)

Life Won’t Always Be Easy Because of Providence

  • Example of Job – “shall we receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:9-10)
  • God promised to keep Jacob in all his ways (Genesis 28:15; 41:9; 48:16)
  • “All things work together for them that love God…” (Romans 8:28-32)

The Importance of Knowing God’s Will

  • Danger of assuming that circumstances in life are clearly a result of God pointing us in a certain direction (e.g. of David with Saul in 1 Samuel 26:7-11,18-19)
  • We must make life decisions based on Biblical discernment, not on what appears to be a direction God is sending us

We Might Be the Instrument of Providence for Others

  • God uses various means to accomplish his will
  • Control of nature
  • The angels
  • Us! Examples of Abigail (1 Samuel 25:26,32-34 and Esther 4:14)